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The Chronology of the First Settlement of the Balearic Islands

Issue: Vol 15 No. 1 (2002) June 2002

Journal: Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology

Subject Areas: Ancient History Archaeology

DOI: 10.1558/jmea.v15i1.3


The goal of this paper is to establish a solid chronology which spans the earliest human presence in each of the three larger Balearic Islands. For this purpose, a review is undertaken of archaeological evidence and associated absolute dating related to the period before the 2nd millennium Cal BC. Additionally, palaeoecological, sedimentological and palaeocultural evidence for human absence on these islands during the middle Holocene is introduced. The most recent values for ranges of the earliest reliable radiocarbon dates relating to human occupation of the three islands indicate, with p > 95%, human presence on Mallorca before 2030 cal BC, on Menorca before ca. 1930 Cal BC, and on Eivissa before 1880 Cal BC. On the other hand, the evidence for human absence indicates that, on Mallorca and Menorca the human irruption must have occurred during the 3rd millennium cal BC, whereas on Eivissa it can only be said that this irruption was later than 6th millennium Cal BC.

Author: Damia Ramis, Josep Antoni Alcover, Jaume Coll, Miquel Trias

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